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2018 Kia Niro

Starting Price: $24,280 | Price Yours

Above Average: Stylish, great fuel economy, comfort, and solid interior design in a 5-person package.

Below Average: Some hybrids and electrics out there get better range than the hybrid or electric 2018 Kia Niro. No all-wheel drive.

Consensus: The 2018 Kia Niro offers a variety of engine types in a stylish, 4-door hatchback, with impressive fuel economy.
 

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2018 Toyota Prius

Starting Price: $24,395 | Price Yours

Above Average: Affordable, great fuel economy, the highest safety ratings, and a stellar reputation for reliability and resale. The 2018 Toyota Prius also has one of the lowest 5-year cost-to-own in the industry.

Below Average: You’ll see it everywhere, and the design is not exactly appealing to everyone. The Prius is also a bit laggy and offers less backseat room compared to others in the segment.

Consensus: The 2018 Toyota Prius is still America’s best-selling hybrid that gets industry leading fuel economy.
 

The 2018 Kia Niro offers a ton of styling, ample space for backseat passengers, and a really solid fuel economy in its segment. It comes with a variety of engines including a hybrid and plug-in hybrid and gets a combined city/highway fuel-economy rating of 50 mpg. The plug-in hybrid engine is new for 2018 and Kia has replaced the Lane Departure Warning system with a Lane Keep Assist system.

There are a number of trim levels, all of which include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a rearview camera, and a 7-inch touch screen come as standard.  At the top end the Touring trim gets an Advanced Tech Package and EX models get an electronic review mirror to help reduce glare at night.

The 2018 Kia Niro feels nimble and light behind the wheel and offers a ton of acceleration, particularly in Sport Mode where the throttle gets sharper the gear ratios change to make the 6-speed transmission feel peppy. Unlike other hybrids, the Kia offers individual styling that makes it stand out in a crowd and it doesn’t feel like a gussied up golf cart.

The 2018 Toyota Prius however, is ubiquitous, but for good reason. It still gets the best fuel economy in the segment (EPA estimates it at 52 mpg combined city/highway in the base version and 56 mpg combined city/highway in the Eco version) and Toyota still has a stellar reputation for safety and reliability. Because the 2018 Toyota Prius is everywhere, resale is also very strong.

The new 2018 Toyota Prius gets minimal updates including an 11.6-inch display that comes standard in the top line Prius Four and Prius Four Touring. Don’t fool yourself though, the Prius is no sports car and does 0-60 in 10 seconds. While it’s got some surprisingly sporty handling dynamics, and has become more stable feeling in its newest version—especially in high winds, it’s still a Prius and the updated look can turn some people off. The 2018 Toyota Prius does not come with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Similarities

Great fuel economy, room enough for five, and characteristic styling.

Kia Niro Advantages

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard and you won’t see yourself coming and going in the 2018 Kia Niro.

Toyota Prius Advantages

Best in class fuel economy and a stellar resale value. The 2018 Toyota Prius also has a 5-star crash rating.

Final Recommendation

It’s a solid draw between the 2018 Kia Niro and the 2018 Toyota Prius. If you are looking for standout styling, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and great value, the Kia Niro is a great choice. If you are looking for a reliable steed, that gets the best in class fuel economy and safety ratings, the 2018 Toyota Prius is for you. 

Bonus Content: 2018 Kia Niro driving impressions

  2018 Kia Niro 2018 Toyota Prius
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 1.6-liter 4-cylinder hybrid 1.8-liter 4-cylinder hybrid
Horsepower 104 @ 5700 RPM 121 @ 5200 RPM
Torque 109 lb-ft @ 4000 RPM 105 lb-ft @ 3600 RPM
Transmission Automatic, 6-Spd w/Dual-Clutch & Sportmatic Automatic, ECVT
Fuel Economy 50 combined/52 city/49 highway 52 combined/ 54 city /50 highway
Also Available Plug-in hybrid n/a
Specs    
Warranty 10 years/100,000 miles 3 years /36,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating n/a 5 stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 106.3 inches 106.3 inches
Overall Length 171.5 inches 178.7 inches
Width 71.1 inches 69.3 inches
Height 60.4 inches 58.1 inches
Turning Diameter 34.8 feet 33.5 feet
Headroom, Front 40.1 inches 39.4 inches
Headroom, Rear 39.1 inches 37.4 inches
Legroom, Front 41.7 inches 42.3 inches
Legroom Rear 37.4 inches 33.4 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 56.0 inches 55.0 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 55.2  inches 53.0 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 100.9 cu. ft. 93.1 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 54.5 cu. ft.  24.6 cu. ft. 
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